I started with a whole lot of guilt, trying hard, not scolding my children. Elaine and Adel started me off a guilt trip. I had to close those parenting books, lie down and think.
Infact, after half an hour of rambling thought, i am feeling happy, rather relieved. I want to be a better parent. I am putting off my guilt of being nagging and Screaming parent, to be more reasonable and involving parent.
Day 2, went off fine with me trying to involve and reason. Day 3, was not too goood, but I tried to end it well. Went back into Elaine's books and tried to reinforce my behavior and attitude towards being a better parent.
So hear are my challenges
1. Labeling my children. I hate it when I do it. This is something I am going to work hard on. Its going to help by children gain better confidence and independence and positive attitude about themselves when I STOP labeling them. I don't want to name the labels, so I feel less guilty. I know they are harmful!
I am beginning to believe that my tone of contempt can hurt deeply. Words like careless, irresponsible, you'll never learn, lazy,do get uttered and I am so hurt to use them and hurt my children. I am definite I am going to find positive ways to deal when circumstances arise, which is like 5 times a day!
I have to engage my children to cooperate. I have to reason and be descriptive of my feelings, instead if saying NO's. I am sure for many of us, sarcasm, lectures, warnings, name calling, and threats were all woven into the language we heard as we were growing up. I don't really want to be doing the same things I probably grew up with. (I don't remember much of my childhood though, i guess some things do get passed on).
In the days to come (i want to set short term goals), I am hoping to feel good about hearing myself talk positively and with reason and involvement. I don't want to hear myself scream. Really, I want to feel good about myself, this is going to be my weeks mission! Hopefully I can make this a habit of passing it on to the coming weeks.
Its not going to be easy! I am going to try to avoid " Whats wrong with you kids, you don't gargle and wash properly, or turn of the light, or flush , or keep your shoes in the rack, or brush your teeth..."
My approach instead " Boys, the light is on in the bathroom!". "Boys, I am tripping off your shoes, its coming on my way"
I a beginning to realise my children need my attention, as in my time. Time Outs, punishments now i feel are just going to lead to hatred, revenge, guilt, unworthiness and self pity. Punishment and timeouts now only seem distractions to me. I am beginning to realize they don't work. Don't work at all. Its so short term that they tend to forget the reason for the Time Out and are happy playing in the corner. When asked why Time out " You shouted at me, that's why". Now that means it does not work! As all they remember is me shouting at them.
Now with Elaine and Adel's help. I want to list out the ways I can avoid punishment.
1. For sure, I want to make my disapproval of the behavior and NOT of their CHARACTER(like, "Jumping in the car is dangerous" would be better than saying " Don't behave like a roudy jumping in the car")
2. Tell the children, what behavior I expect (for example in the car - they cannot jump in the car,)
3. Reason with them (" You can meet with an accident and get hurt, It distracts me and I cannot drive in peace")
4. Allow at some point to experience the consequences of his behavior. I have done those many times.
Today there was an interesting incident.
A friend had a return gift due - which was a magnet made of clay. She handed them over to me.
P saw them, and wanted to hold them. I let him hold it warning him to be careful else they would break.
The warning was enough for him to have more fun and to try to may be break them, may be to see my reaction.
I took away Sids gift and kept it aside with me, saying he can hold his. I also warned him again to be careful else it would break.
So P finally did manage to crack it, as it fell off from the bag, which he kept swinging side to side
He was upset. He immediately wanted sids on exchange. I refused and said thats not right.
But, he cried, went home and cried more. Finally put both up on the fridge. He still insisted the cracked was not his. But I told him, his was cracked, but it still sticks to the fridge and still looks good.
Now that was a big step for me. Not to label him. I did not label him careless. I left the topic there for him to understand what had happened and that his still was cracked. Hopefully, over time he will begin to understand the consequences of his actions.
If I had labelled him, he would have cried more, I would have shouted more, more tug of war of the wants and more and more of ill feeling between him and me.
My day has ended well, hope to get up to a better day and to better parenting.